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All posts tagged "iphone"


Monday, December 15, 2008

Statistically, $0.99 vs. $0.99+ Means Nothing

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.mobileorchard.com/99-cen...y-more-popular/

"Two days ago Craig Hockenberry wrote an open letter to Steve Jobs complaining about the prevalence of 99 cent apps on the App Store and the "rush" to that price point. He suggests the rush to the bottom is damaging the chances of more significant apps being developed for the platform. We've covered the "gold rush" on the iPhone App Store before, and dissected the App Store data to discover that the cheapest apps aren't the ones making the most money (sounds obvious, but many of the complaints assume it isn't so). 99 cent (or free!) apps do no more harm to pricier iPhone apps than open source or shareware apps do to commercial PC or Mac software. But the point still stands.. are 99 cent apps really that popular on the App Store? In terms of quantity, there are a lot, but are they significantly more popular than more expensive apps?"

The takeaway here is obvious: pricing your app doesn't, in a tangible way, affect the sales of that application. While Craig Hockenberry may have a point in that applications cost more to develop than meets the eye, his other point, that $0.99 apps are hurting sales of more expensive apps and making the App Store an unsustainable business, doesn't seem to be supported by the numbers.

I have a ton of problems with Hockenberry's "Open Letter," and this is just one of them. I'm glad someone addressed it with statistics rather than anecdotal "evidence."


Apple Redefines Limited Utility

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 10:00 AM

http://air-o-matic.com/2008/12/pull-my-finger/

For context purposes, you need to know the whole story of Pull My Finger. Not the gag, the application. Since I've already done a video on the topic, I'm going to recycle a bit of old content for all of you. (Warning: the language might be considered salty; no profanity is used, but there is a loose g___ d___ in there)

On Friday, I got an e-mail from Air-o-Matic saying that Apple had finally approved their app:

"Hi!

A while back, you requested and supported the rejected iPhone app, Pull My Finger. Well, we've been working diligently to get our phones to make strange bodily noises, and we're excited to announce that Apple has reversed their decision... Pull My Finger is in the app store!"

I'm happy for the guys at Air-o-Matic. They've finally gotten their app published, but the fact that it was delayed and is now published makes me ask the question: why was it rejected in the first place? According to various sources, the reason was that Apple was trying to define a genre for apps such as Pull My Finger, but that even opens up more questions. How do you define iBeer? As a drinking simulator? How about an electronic beverage substitute?

Let's face reality; Apple's reaction comes because they realized they'd have one hell of a time trying to explain their rationale and its inconsistency. Is it their right to reject apps from the App Store? Absolutely, but if they don't do it consistently, they're going to be wearing more than a few eggs on their faces and turning off many developers to the process altogether.


Platypus: Squishy Fun For The iPhone/iPod Touch

Posted by Joe Johaneman in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.astraware.com/iphone/fea...e=0088-000-0618

Platypus could safely be called a cult classic among Mac games, mainly because of the graphics. Following in the mold of games such as Clayfighter and fine television shows such as Gumby and Mr. Bill, Platypus brings a squishy and unique perspective to the shooter genre. Read more...

Tags: iphone, platypus

Thursday, December 11, 2008

iPhone 3G Now Available Online

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 09:02 AM

http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-ph...ck=1-001JEA-1-1

"Online shoppers looking to spend the holiday season firmly planted on the couch can add the iPhone 3G back to their lists -- we've just confirmed that Apple and AT&T have quietly brought back in-home activation. Sure, it's been available in limited circumstances before, but now it's here and for real, just like with the first-gen unit."

Yep, if you order now, you'll have one for Christmas. Of course, you can't just grab one and not activate it, but it means you won't have to wait on hellacious lines if you're trying to get one for your loved one.

Or yourself :-)

Tags: iphone, online, at&t

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Little Tank: Explosively Fun

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

Product Category: iPhone/iPod Touch Game
Developer: Astraware
Where to Buy: iTunes Store
Price: $4.99
System Requirements: iPhone / iPod Touch with Firmware 2.0 or later

Pros:

  • Simple to learn;
  • Explosions are fun;
  • Graphics and sounds are both good.

Cons:

  • A bit on the easy side;
  • Using any controls but tapping the screen can be extremely frustrating.


Summary:
My Little Tank is a fun pick-up and play tank shooter. While it may err on the easy side, it's still a heck of a lot of fun and a great time waster.
Read more...


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Amazon's App Will Hurt Retailers This Christmas

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 02:00 PM

I don't know what it is about the WRT-54G and I that makes us not get along. I truly like Linksys' flood the market" router and find it to be a great device when it works. I usually burn through one every 6-8 months and have come to accept that as a cost of doing business with the internet. Recently, I lost another one and decided that I would move up the scale to the WRT-610n, a dual-radio N-class monster with all kinds of bells and whistles. In the back of my mind I was concerned, but I figured even if this much pricier monster failed, I would just go back to regularly buying WRT-54G's again.

I priced out the 610n on Amazon and found that it was $144.99. I was ready to pull the trigger on it, but I really wanted to get it in person so on Thursday night, my wife and I headed down to Best Buy. I was expecting to pay a few bucks more, but I was totally not prepared for how much more Best Buy was charging.

No, I'm not kidding. On Thursday, they were charging $199.99.

Read more...


Monday, December 8, 2008

App Find of the Weekend: Darts

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

http://dartsapp.com/

"Who doesn't love a game of darts? Now you can play darts anywhere at anytime; no dart board required! Waiting for an open board at a pub? Want to just practice throwing some darts or take on an AI/computer player? Play Darts! This app is not another scorekeeper app but lets you PLAY darts on your iPhone or iPod touch!"

Once you master the basics of throwing, this game is just top notch. It's a ton of fun and really makes for a great time waster. Variations on the game include X01 (Play down from 501, 401, 301, etc) and Cricket (hit 15-20 and a bullseye 3 times each). You can opt for SD (Single In, Double Out), DD (Double in/out) and SS (Sinle in/out) and the computer can play at three difficulty levels. I didn't actually find this game over the weekend, I found it over the Thanksgiving break, and I spent about an hour playing it on Thanksgiving after dinner. It really is a lot of fun once you get the hang of the throwing motion.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Rumor: Wal-Mart May Sell $99 4GB iPhone 3G

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2008...one-at-walmart/

"We just got a tip that in addition to the iPhone 3G actually making its way to Walmart, as we exclusively told you, there will be a 4GB model priced at $99 with a 2-year agreement. We're not putting our stamp of approval behind this one just yet as the tipster isn't listed in our BGR's Guide to respected Ninjas handbook, but it does make you think, doesn't it?"

As Executive Editor, I'm faced with decisions like this often, particularly with regards to Apple. Do I run with the story / rumor I have no confidence in just because everyone else is? Or do I hold back and just wait? The truth is, I don't like rumors. Mac Rumors tend to be off the wall and ridiculous and I choose to ignore them as often as possible, but this one has so many people rushing to put it out there, I felt I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention it. Plus, it's a credible source (BGR is pretty good when it comes to rumors and such) so take this one for what it's worth. Me? I have no belief whatsoever that this rumor is true, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Tags: iphone, wal-mart, 3g

Thursday, December 4, 2008

iPhone Twitter Client Roundup

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 02:00 PM

http://theappleblog.com/2008/12/03/...for-the-iphone/

"When our desire to connect and communicate with one another crashed headlong in to the digital behemoth that is the Internet, we ended up with Twitter: a true 21st Century social phenomenon. Like a chimerical parrot, each head squawking a different one-liner, Twitter can seem odd to the casual observer. Allowing users to post ultra-short updates, a quick tour 'round Twitter will find normal folk, celebrities and even politicians rubbing shoulders and swapping verbs (even TAB is tweeting away). As a frequent tweeter, I decided it was time to identify the ultimate Twitter app for the iPhone. Diving headlong in to the App Store, I emerged from its murky depths with 12 different apps."

An excellent roundup of Twitter clients, and while I don't agree with all the assessments (Twittelator Pro has been my client of choice since I got my iPhone), there's plenty of detail and a nice side by side comparison chart to go by. If you're in the market for a new Twitter client for the iPhone, check this article out first. While you're at it, add us so you'll know when we publish a new article on the site. We're on Twitter as @applethoughts.


Glyph: A Strategy Game For The iPhone/iPod Touch

Posted by Joe Johaneman in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.astraware.com/iphone/glyph

Product Category: iPhone/iPod Touch Game
Developer: Sandlot Games
Where to Buy: iTunes Store
Price: $4.99
System Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch
Specifications: Requires 7 Mb of free space for install.

Pros:

  • Fun and Addictive;
  • Challenging, but not overly so.

Cons:

  • Gems are tiny and hard to hit with big fingers.


Summary:
Glyph is a fun game that can be highly addictive. Gameplay is simple to learn and it's a good game for both casual gamers and fans of strategy games.
Read more...

Tags: iphone, game, glyph

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Apple Now Allows Review Copies of iTunes Apps

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/12/02...of-iphone-apps/

"Apple has finally started allowing developers to issue free promotional copies of their iPhone applications. Once an application has been accepted to the App Store by Apple, developers can issue up to 50 promotional codes. The codes allow the recipient to download a full copy of the application for free. Presently, these codes can only be used in the U.S. iTunes Stores by using the "Redeem" link in the App Store."

When we started Apple Thoughts, I didn't realize that we couldn't get "review copies" of apps because iTunes was the only way to get an application. In fact, one developer sent me a gift card to review three of their apps because the minimum was $10 for a gift card. Imagine if their apps were $0.99? Anyway, this is a welcome change and I hope all our developer friends that read regularly are taking this one in!


Night Camera: Be Gone Blurry Photos

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.sudobility.com/Night Camera.html

"iPhone's camera is among the best for a cell phone. Despite being 2MP only, the color is fairly accurate. We had way more good photos with iPhone than with some of its competitors. However, even though it is a good cell phone camera, it is nowhere near the quality of a dedicated digital camera. The color is washed out, the contrast is low, and it is next to impossible to get good photos at night, due to blurs. Well, we can fix the color and contrast. All you need is our Photo Lab app. Apply the auto correction, then increase the color saturation and contrast. The result is actually quite good. However, no software can fix the blur, not even Photoshop. This is a real problem at night. Due to low light condition, the shutter time is longer, and even small shaking from the tapping of the camera button will make the photo un-usable. So, we created Night Camera, the app to prevent the blur at the first place. Using the built-in iPhone accelerometer, it automatically shoots the photo when it detects the iPhone being stable, so you have a real chance to get some good photos at night."

First impressions? It does what it says it does. It detects the steadiest time from the accelerometer and then takes the picture meaning you don't have to brace yourself in a harness to take a picture at night with the iPhone. The interesting part of this, to me, is how many creative uses for the accelerometer developers are coming up with in the first place! John Mahoney is correct; I'd certainly pay to have this feature on a DSLR. Canon? Nikon? Sony? Fuji? Are you guys listening?


Friday, November 28, 2008

Game Developers Have Their Own Sales, Too

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 07:00 AM

http://toucharcade.com/2008/11/28/b...one-game-sales/

"In the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving ("Black Friday") has been the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season and is typically marked by large sales at retail stores. iPhone developers are in on the action with a number of iPhone game sales. Act quickly, as some of these are for very short periods of time"

Figure 1: Not necessarily games that are on sale, just a screenshot of the store for illustration purposes.

Lots of games on sale today, and Touch Arcade has an exhaustive list. Some of them might end up on my iPhone before the day is over. In fact, I know for a fact some of them will. Virtual Pool and Scrabble, for example, are going to be on my iPhone before I even leave for work today. Were any of you holding off on buying and now considering one of the listed games? I for one am quite annoyed that I paid $9.99 for Enigmo on day one and now it's $0.99 but that's the way it works sometimes. :-)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trism Developer Doing Quite Well

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://videogames.yahoo.com/feature...veloper/1268382

"Steve Demeter wrote "Trism", a sliding-block, color-matching puzzle game, in his spare time, and put it on Apple's App Store for $4.99. Just two months later, the game had earned Demeter over $250,000, and prompted him to quit his day job at a bank and start a development studio. Demeter's studio, Demiforce, is working on five new games, including the sequel to Trism."

There has been much discussion on the topic of app pricing including a thread right here on Apple Thoughts. In the end, the creme does rise to the top, though, as Trism really is one of the best puzzle games on the iPhone and takes advantage of the accelerometer beautifully. I'm glad to see Steve Demeter is doing really well with it and hopefully it'll motivate other developers to explore new avenues for old genres and come up with something great. Oh, and if you haven't played it yet, go for it. It's worth it.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Touch Pushes the Most Polygons

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

http://gizmodo.com/5097855/3d-power...ouch-iterations

"We already knew that the latest iPod touch featured the fastest processing of its siblings (a 532MHz-clocked processor vs 412MHz on the original iPhone, the original iPod touch and even the new iPhone 3G). But we were surprised to hear from software developers that the latest iPod touch can render character models with nearly double the polygons of the original iPhone, a trend that's impacting game development now and probably more so moving forward."

So much for expecting the same performance on identical hardware. Now the true question is going to be finding out exactly what it is that accounts for such a difference in performance between the new Touch and the older one. This should be very interesting and we'll probably end up learning a lot about the hardware differences between the two.


You're Being Profiled: iPhone Users in Numbers

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 10:00 AM

http://theappleblog.com/2008/11/24/...about-yourself/

"As a mobile device, the iPhone crosses several different user groups. From business users to media junkies, a wide range of people use the iPhone in a variety of different ways. The App Store is fueling this variation even further on account of the huge array of different applications available. A few pieces of research have been conducted that give an interesting glimpse into the profile of iPhone users, and the main activities they choose to perform with their device. This post will summarize a few different results and draw some interesting comparisons between the uses of an iPhone compared to other mobile phones."

Interesting stuff, and I'd say I fit into a lot of the demos here. Among some of my favorite informational tidbits:

  • 93 percent of iPhone owners have added an application versus only 66 percent of Smartphone owners;
  • Email is the most commonly used feature — 70 percent of users check email on the iPhone at least once a day;
  • 60 percent of users browse the internet at least once per day;
  • Three quarters of users do more web surfing on the iPhone than on their previous device.

I find the first one particularly interesting because, working in an office where everyone has a BlackBerry of some kind, most of them have no idea you can actually add applications to it. The rest of the stuff is all equally interesting, and I'd say I fit into a lot of those categories. Anything jump out at you guys?


Monday, November 24, 2008

Jewel-Encrusted iPhones Now Available

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.luxurylaunches.com/gadge...lingedagain.php

"[T]he gems line the outer rim of the phone. The black & white diamond edition sells for £3,595 ($5,350); the Ruby & white diamond £3,095 ($4,600) and the white diamond edition for £4,095"

How long do you think it'll be before some rap star shows up at an awards show rockin' one of these, er, beauties? People, the iPhone is a beautiful design because it's simple and elegant, not because it's infinitely blingable. Seriously. Put down the gems and step away from the phones. Yuck. How many of you have done this with those stick-on gemstones already? Come on... Admit it... There's no judgment here...


App Find of the Weekend: Bix Lite

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.padadaz.com/page5/page5.html

"Bix is a simple yet addictive game in which you control a tracer, that traces lines. When you close a shape you take control of its surface. Take control of 75% of the game surface to reach the next level! Avoid touching the balls while tracing. Trap the special balls to unleash their special power (slow down or extra life). Swipe gestures are used to control the tracer. Make bigger shapes to get more bonus points!"

One of my favorite classic games for the Commodore 64 was Qix and it's nice to see someone do a pretty good translation of it for the iPhone. I grabbed the lite one just on the hopes it would keep me occupied for a few minutes at a time, but I think I'm going to shell out for the full version (It's a great big $0.99... I can swing it!) just to support these guys and their game. If you like the classics, give it a go. I have a feeling you'll really enjoy it. Bix and Bix Lite are both available in the App Store right now.


Friday, November 21, 2008

iPhone Software v. 2.2 Available Now

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 05:06 AM

http://www.apple.com/iphone/softwareupdate/

"What's in this update:

Enhancements to Maps
Google Street View; Public transit and walking directions; Display address of dropped pins; Share location via email; Decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls.

Enhancements to Mail
Resolved isolated issues with scheduled fetching of email; Improved formatting of wide HTML email.

Podcasts are now available for download in iTunes application (over Wi-Fi and cellular network); Improved stability and performance of Safari; Improved sound quality of Visual Voicemail messages; Pressing Home button from any Home screen displays the first Home screen; Preference to turn on/off auto-correction in Keyboard Settings."

Well, let's be honest. None of this is going to be disruptive, massive, or huge, but it is welcome. I imagine there's more under the hood than above it in this case, and sorry folks, but still no copy and paste. Overall this update is meh-riffic and looks more like an update to Google Maps than the entire OS, but then again, it's only a point-release. I'm doing the upgrade now and will have more to report on after I use it a bit throughout the day. Hopefully it'll be more impressive in real life than it is on paper.

Tags: update, iphone, 2.2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Iconfactory Releases Frenzic for iPhone

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 02:00 PM

http://iconfactory.com/home/permalink/2044

"Mac OS X users have been playing Frenzic for over a year, but now Frenzic comes alive for Apple's mobile platform as well. The iPhone's revolutionary touch screen interface makes Frenzic a must have for gaming enthusiasts of all ages. Players sort colored pie pieces in a frantic race that tests both the mind and reflexes and offers hours of endless fun."

So I was sitting there minding my own business when I got an e-mail from the induplicable Darius telling me that Frenzic for the iPhone was now available. I could hardly believe my eyes! Last year when Frenzic came out, they pleaded with Apple to allow it on the iPhone. They even started a petition! Well the wait is over, and the translation is even better than the original. The touch controls are much more accurate for a game like this, and I can't even imagine playing it on my Mac anymore. Frenzic is available right now for $4.99 in the App Store. If you haven't played it, you're seriously missing out on a very fun game.


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